Socrates invented the art of cultivating a beautiful soul, perhaps because he was been born with such a famously ugly face.
There was a Socratic style of life (which the Cynics were to imitate), and the Socratic dialogue was an exercise which brought Socrates’ interlocutor to put himself in question, to take care of himself, and to make his soul as beautiful and wise as possible.
In the Platonic dialogues, Alcibiades appears as a beautiful aristocratic youth, in striking contrast to ‘frightfully common’ Socrates.
Alcibiades loves Socrates despite his ignoble appearance. Socrates. Beautiful . . . on the inside. Socrates is an aristocrat of the soul.
In drawings, paintings, engravings and sculpture, the theme is repeated: a noble soul, an ugly face.